Sunday, December 31, 2006

10 2006 Songs That Made It For Us in 2006

We made a list of twenty and then whittled it down to ten.

1) "Not Ready To Make Nice," Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long Way Home.

Call it our own personal theme song. We think more than any other song in 2006, this summed up our own personal attitudes.

2) "Better Way," Ben Harper, Both Sides Of The Gun.

Ben Harper getting trippy with it. One listen and you're hooked.

3) "After The Garden," Neil Young, Living With War.

It had us at the first rumbling chord. The lyrics nailed it: "Won't need no shadow man running the government/ Won't need no stinkin' war."

4) "Living With War," Neil Young, Living With War.

Here's a tidbit, the Iraq snapshots not dictated over the phone this summer were written with this song playing over and over in the background. "And when the dawn breaks, I see my fellow man, and on the flat screen, we kill and are killed again, and when the night falls I pray for peace . . ." Only when a CNN friend of C.I.'s asked "Jesus, do you listen to that song 24-7?" did it get rotated. As Kat puts it, summer 2006 to her will always be C.I. at the computer, going phone to phone, hunched over the keyboard, typing away like it was a musical instrument.

5) "Yell Fire," Michael Franti & Spearhead, Yell Fire.

"Revolution never comes with a warning." To some, it seems to require an invitation and even then . . . "Put 'em up, put 'em up".

6) "Time To Go Home," Michael Franti & Spearhead. Yell Fire.

The whole CD, but especially this song, reminds the core six of a trip we took the park with Kat. At some point during that, a mother called "Snacks" and three kids went running happily until the oldest boy said "I'm going to beat you" and a race resulted. (As Kat noted at the time, wouldn't it be the one vowing to "beat" -- not "win" -- who'd lose? He fell and the other two kept running.)

7) "Crashing Down," David Rovics, Halliburton Boardroom Massacre.

"It can happen in a moment, Sometimes it does, When what could be is, What shouldn't be was, There are times when you've got to stand steady, There are other times when you've got to be ready . . ." When it all comes crashing down, indeed. Describing the current state of the (mis)union and opening the album with a fast paced song. Mike's personal memory of this song was attempting to memorize court cases for a test by pacing around his room for hours starting at two in the morning while he had this song on repeat.

8) "Happily Everafter In Your Eyes," Ben Harper, Both Sides Of The Gun.

We have to agree with Kat, Ben Harper gave the best concert in 2006. Those of us who caught him twice on the West coast remember blasting this song on the way back. One of the most beautiful songs of the year.

9) "Half-Assed," Ani Di Franco, Reprieve.

The guitar hooks you first, then come the lyrics and the Ani's vocals. "You start tripping,
And I start slipping away" delights not only for the rhyme but also because of what Ani does with "way" in "away." By the time she continues with "I was taught to zip it, If I got nothing nice to say, And down in the Texas of my heart, Driving a really big truck, Headed down a dirt road, My love is scrunching up its features" you grasp she's written another classic song that you'll be humming for the rest of your life.

10) "Dear Mr. President," Pink, I'm Not Dead Yet.

The lyrics are strong ("How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?, How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?, How do you walk with your head held high?, Can you even look me in the eye, and tell me why?") but we think what nails the song for us is the mixture of Pink's vocals with Amy Amy Ray and Emily Saliers (the Indigo Girls).
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